Paint Your Way To A Better You!

Some time back I was involved in a project that put me a table with folks from the local YMCA.

I was interested to learn that at the time, the YMCA as well as other athletic facilities were trying to develop memberships by offering starter rooms,

“where people can work out under specific direction with a small group of others with whom they share some connection (gender, age, ethnicity, weight).

These rooms and others like it (i.e. aerobics studios) no longer have mirrors in them. There used to be a focus on monitoring ones form and thus the mirrors. Many people didn’t want to see how bad they looked in the mirror so out the went. There has also been a shift in focus from fitness to well-being.

Once people have been working out for awhile and refined their physique and technique, they move out under their own motivation into the familiar bigger room with the mirrors where they can monitor their form and progress.”

Back when I first wrote this entry, I was trying to think of some small group programs that might replicate the same general dynamics for the arts. Since then, I have had some fun ideas, but have been faced with the problem of finding a compelling argument for people to participate in them.

Even with a lot of public messages about exercise being good for you, gyms see interest taper off after 3 months. There aren’t similar general messages about the value of the arts (2 hours a week -just 30 minutes every other day!) that motivate people to even aspire to make a resolution to participate or create.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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